There’s no way in the world a game like Scarface: The World Is Yours could be made today. Not re-released as a remaster nor revamped as a remake. The game is antithetical to everything Regressive Leftists have turned current day media entertainment into, and it’s filled to the brim with macho men, hot chicks, and lots of politically incorrect content, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much. However, the 2006 outing doesn’t quite hold up as well as it could have due to some janky design decisions.
+Sexy female characters
+You get to kick trannies in the nuts
+Ultra violent with gore and dismemberment
+Interesting empire building mechanics
+Fantastic 80s-inspired soundtrack
+Includes Giorgio Moroder’s original score
•Adequate map size
-Enemy AI & enemy spawns
Sierra Interactive and Radical Entertainment’s “What if?” scenario to Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone’s 1983 graphic crime drama works on the premise of Tony Montana having survived the mansion raid by Alex Sosa’s men. The game was made in conjunction with the movie’s remastered re-release, and at the time movie games were still popular enough to be bankable.
The story in the game, however, sees Tony surviving the attempt on his life. Instead of taking a shotgun to the back by a crafty hitman, players take control of Tony and help him kill his would-be killers so he can escape his mansion scathed but unbroken while the hired mercenaries and the police do battle over over his lavish abode.
This all takes place as part of the opening sequence for the game, before you even get to the intro or credits.
Classics Before Converged
Before we go any further, one might be wondering “Why did you even decide to play this old game?”
Well, people are constantly telling me I need to spend more time away from the news and the Culture Wars, but most games these days are converged and filled with Liberal propaganda. So I’ve been picking up older titles I missed from the yesteryears, and after finishing the mostly forgotten open-world car-thriller starring Vin Diesel called The Wheelman, I decided to give Scarface: The World Is Yours a try.
Much like The Wheelman, there’s a mixed bag of content in Scarface. But where The Wheelman had a fun gameplay loop but failed to innovate with anything conceptually unique or different, borrowing most of its mechanics from Just Cause (but with better vehicle physics and a more enticing use of its location) Scarface is on the opposite end of the spectrum: the game has some fetching concepts but the gameplay loop and execution of some of those concepts are lacking in more ways than one.
The core of the game centers around taking over Miami and pushing past what Tony achieved in the live-action film. This is actually one of the rare games where even though you lose everything at the start, you quickly gain back what Tony lost and then begin to acquire more than what Tony had by the end of the film.
Three months after the mansion raid, Tony comes back after laying low. Players have to help Tony work his way back up from the bottom, selling small amounts of coke to street dealers and taking out some of the former partners that betrayed Tony.
The thug-level narcotics trade and low-tier street mucking don’t last long, though.
(Intro gameplay sequence courtesy of ACKMANISH)
Barely two hours into the game you’ll be striking deals to take over your first narcotics front in Little Havana, one of four districts you’ll need to own by the end of the game. Tony also manages to get his mansion back very early in the game once you make $10,000 to pay off vice. The mansion works as a hub for customization, weapon management, and upgrades. You can also buy exotic furniture and décor and place it around the house using the “Pimp My Mansion” mode.
Some of you might be saying “Isn’t this just like the gang territory and business management meta-games from GTA: San Andreas?” and to that I would say, yes… yes it is.
However, Scarface: The World Is Yours expands greatly on the property ownership aspects that were present in San Andreas, as you’ll first have to complete a mission to gain the favor of the store owner and then scrape together some cash to buy the shop from the owner. The more shops you unlock, the more expensive they become to purchase. This is the basic loop for purchasing property in the game.
In order to completely take over the district you’ll need to defeat the rival gang that owns the storage facility within the area, but before you do that you have to level up your reputation, which thematically spells out the movie’s name with each new level you earn.
Reputation is how you unlock new story missions, new side-quests, new items, weapons, vehicles, boats, shops, upgrades, and decorations for your mansion. Reputation also works as Tony’s “level”, so to speak.
In order to raise your reputation you need to make your name known, which includes making big deals, buying property, completing side-missions and most importantly, buying exotics.
The core loop basically goes like this: complete a mission, unlock a new task, new task requires higher reputation, complete side-quests to earn money, use the money to buy exotics to raise reputation, complete the new task to unlock a new story mission, rinse and repeat.
I had a love hate relationship with the way the game’s progression is setup. Again, it’s a cool concept, but the execution was duly lacking.
The non-linear approach to being able to raise funds and purchase whatever you wanted (so long as you had the money and the item was unlocked) was pretty cool. The open-ended nature of fund-raising in the game reminds me of how linear and strict so many games are in today’s generation of gaming.
However, the problem was that there just wasn’t much to do from a gameplay perspective.
In the early goings of the game your main objective is just to raise funds and purchase small-time buildings in Little Havana. This usually involves hunting down the dens of rival gangs scattered throughout the district, killing them in a sort of semi-survival mini-game, and then taking the cash from the dead gang members and laundering it at the local bank (which, creatively, works as the way you save your game).
If you aren’t killing gang members then you’re following one of Felix’s leads in a side-quest that opens up supplier missions. Supplier missions basically enables Tony to get his hands on various keys of coke (short for kilograms).
Early on when you get the coke you can sell it at local storefronts you own, or help lower your rival gang rating by selling the coke to local suppliers. Major interactions with NPCs in the game is handled with a little meter, where holding down the taunt button fills up the meter and the objective is to get it right near the top without going over, otherwise you’ll fail the mini-game and it results in supplier deals being cancelled, or Tony failing to bribe police.
The taunt button also comes into play during shootouts. Early in the game when the tutorial was explaining how the taunt can be used to build up Tony’s “Rage” by taunting enemies in front of you, I scoffed and figured it would be a pointless mechanic. Throughout most of the game, it was.
However, there’s a difficulty spike I would say in the last third of the game where you’ll be required to make use of (or in some cases, rely entirely upon) Tony’s “Rage” mechanic, which basically allows Tony to see red and so long as you’re looking in the direction of enemies, he automatically targets them and they die in one shot while also restoring 200 points of health.
Health packets are in short supply throughout the game, but there are small blood banks scattered throughout the map, and Tony can also refill his health by talking to the clerk at any of the storefronts he owns.
This was another love-hate feature of mine. Due to the way the game’s shooting mechanics are designed, it’s easy to take a lot of damage without being able to do much to avoid taking damage other than shooting first.
There’s a crouch button but due to the controls being kind of janky – and apparently the faster the frame-rate the more the physics are affected, so I don’t know if that was part of the problem or not but I’ll get to that later – it wasn’t a reliable way to get out of the way.
The game has a wall-hug feature but it, too, was janky. Tony either didn’t get close enough to the edge of the wall most times or was too close to the edge and would still get shot. I usually avoided wall-hugging since it offered more danger rather than any sort of tactical advantage.
The shooting itself is handled like any other open-world third-person shooter, where the right analog controls the reticule and the right trigger is to shoot. You can also instantly lock onto enemies within range by looking at them and holding down the left trigger.
The auto-lock was hit or miss, since sometimes it would lock onto the wrong enemy when they were in clutters, and other times you could use it to rapidly scroll through enemies and get instant head-shots, killing everyone in short order.
My biggest issue with the shootouts, though, was just the lack of cohesion in their design. A lot of times enemies would just spawn out of thin air, oftentimes surrounding you and sometimes killing you before you could react.
Other times the enemies would all spawn from a single point and would basically line-up ready to be mowed down like targets in a shooting gallery.
I did like that you could target body parts, shooting off limbs or decapitating foes with a well-placed head-shot.
The weapon variety is interesting but sparse. You have several selections of handguns, machine guns, and explosive devices. Some of the weapons can also be upgraded, such as doubling the magazine count for the machine guns, or attaching a grenade launcher to the M-16 just like in the movie, or being able to use a shotgun attachment on the AK-47.
Given the nature of the way the gun battles work, some weapons are rendered quite useless most times, like the sniper rifle, which usually only comes into play during Assassin side-quests. There are also two different rocket launchers, but I only found myself using one, and only for a couple of missions near the end of the game.
Overall, I found the shooting mechanics to be sub-par, almost about as bad as GTA: San Andreas. The shooting was far less intuitive than its other nearer counterparts in EA’s The Godfather or True Crime: Streets of LA, both of which were far superior in capturing dynamic, tense-ridden shootouts with decently capable AI opponents.
As you can imagine, having a barely perfunctory shooting system in place while forcing players into a lot of on-foot shootouts means that there were a lot of annoying, grinding combat scenarios that became more grating than satisfying.
For the higher-level gang encounters I would simply call my driver to bring a dump truck and then the two of us would drive around the gang members in circles, picking them off by shooting at them from inside the dump truck, which had the highest level of armor in the game.
However, I did like that the game oftentimes encouraged you to bring an AI teammate along for whatever misadventures and hijinks you were getting up to.
As mentioned, as you gained reputation levels you gained access to purchasing more vehicles, and also unlocking additional henchmen. As you unlocked said henchmen, you then had the option of doing side-missions as those henchmen. This included playing as an Enforcer, who goes around dealing with gang related matters; a Driver, who is tasked with either carrying out a driving-related task or finding and delivering vehicles under certain conditions; and an Assassin, who is tasked with killing specific NPCs under certain conditions.
Each of the completed tasks can help earn Tony extra cash if you get tired of killing the gangs or doing the drug smuggling missions. There are also checkpoint races in the game, but I found them to be more tedious than fun.
Side-Quests & Intimidation
Personally, all the side-quests as the henchmen were kind of passe, and while the missions were usually random and could add replay value to the game, I didn’t find the mechanics engaging enough to warrant pursuing playing as the henchmen for any substantial amount of time.
Majority of your time investment in making any sort of reasonable amounts of cash in the game will be the smuggling missions. Once again, the concept of the smuggling is pretty cool but the execution? Not so much.
The first half of the game has you smuggling via vehicles on land, while the second half of the game requires you to venture to the islands to strike deals with the suppliers using the intimidation mini-game.
The whole intimidation mini-game was fairly annoying since if you messed up you either lost the down payment on the supply or would have to reload the game to avoid an unnecessary firefight and the potential loss of even more funds. Had the intimidation feature been setup like the one in EA’s The Godfather, where you could threaten NPCs without actually hurting them, then that would have gone a long way in making the smuggling deals a lot more entertaining.
The other aspect of the smuggling is the actual smuggling, which usually had Tony either using one of his boats or a supplied boat to bring the keys of coke back to one of his storehouses in Miami.
Again, there was a love-hate relationship with this aspect of the game because smuggling the drugs across the pirate-infested waters was definitely intense, but it was way too easy to get spotted by pirates, ganged up on, and the boat destroyed, which would completely fail the smuggling mission up to that point.
I later learned to basically drive the boat straight toward the mission marker and then once a pirate ship would come into view, I would make either a hard 75 degree left or right turn and head in the other direction so they were just out of view and would be cached out of memory until the next pirate ship spawned in front of me. I would rinse and repeat this method to get the drugs back to the storehouses.
However, even the smuggling couldn’t expect some of the game’s jank. In one mission I was given a rather heavily armored gunboat to use to smuggle 10 keys back to Miami. I managed to get the boat back in one piece and to Tony’s house, but the problem is that whoever designed the map didn’t scale the port at Tony’s mansion for the gunboat, so it got stuck under a bridge right there at the mission completion zone. I spent around 20 minutes squiggling the boat under the bridge and using a few road vehicles to drive them off an incline to crash into the boat to force it under the bridge.
Apparently they only tested the gunboat smuggling mission on the other larger storehouses.
Again, the concept of a boat-themed stealth mission is cool, but they really should have put more QA time into the design before pulling the trigger on that compile button.
Also, the boat physics being kind of floaty and the turning feeling as if the vehicles were a on swivel didn’t help much either. But thankfully only the boats had gimbal-esque turning.
Most of the other vehicles handled pretty well.
The physics were very similar to the first Saints Row or Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. They certainly weren’t as grounded or carried the sort of heft that was present in games like Mafia or The Godfather. However, they certainly handled better than all of the ground-based vehicles in Just Cause or GTA: Vice City… except for the boats, the boats definitely handled and moved better in Just Cause.
Vehicular damage was also fairly decent, with each of the parts sustaining damage; crumpling on impact or falling off completely with a hard enough hit.
The action driving sequences were okay. Don’t expect any cinematic crashes like in The Wheelman or Just Cause. When you shootout tires the cars don’t go flipping and exploding, and most chase sequences end when your car or an enemy’s car slams into a wall while the hood is smoking. It’s all rather anti-climatic but serviceable for its intended use.
One might ask, “It seems like you’re more negative about the game than positive. So how can it be for c Chads?”
Well, it’s because the game has balls.
Tony oozes machismo. While Al Pacino wanted to voice Tony again in the game, due to smoking his voice no longer resembled the Cuban firecracker from the early 1980s. Still, the award-winning actor helped consult with Radical Entertainment to find his perfect replacement in André Sogliuzzo, who did a superb job in capturing Tony’s bravado, charisma, and violent tendencies.
While the animations are certainly nothing to write home about, and the graphics only look a step above GTA: San Andreas, Tony is depicted as an uncompromising maniac with a vision. A true villain. And you get to play him!
There are practically no good guys in the game. Even the NPCs walking around all tell crude tales and curse like sailors; a staple of the times for NPC voice acting in ‘M’ rated open-world games.
Any time players have Tony interact with female NPCs using the taunt button (which also doubles as a talk button) he either berates them for being ugly using a colorful array of insults, or outright tells them that they need a good banging… preferably by him.
Hot Chicks For A Hot-Headed Guy
Almost all the females in the game are also portrayed as hot, saucy women that love the fast life and all the glitz and glamor that someone like Tony could offer them.
In fact, the only way to level up Tony’s health, stamina, and balls (the meter that allows him to go into “Rage” mode), you have to recruit various femme fatales from around the game world to come to Tony’s mansion. The mini-games to recruit them are banal and simply require you to repeatedly tap the talk button until they come to your mansion.
However, as you progress through the game the girls begin to undergo transformations. When they first arrive at your mansion they’re wearing the clothes that they wore when you first recruited them, oftentimes casual wear. But by the time you reach one of the later levels in the game, all the girls are reduced to see-through lingerie, standing around Tony’s mansion waiting and willing to do his bidding.
Maxing Out Your Balls And Kicking Balls
As we all know, there could never be a feature like this for an AAA game made in [current year].
Even more than that, as the girls strip down to their lingerie they will randomly offer Tony perks in the form of upgrades if you come back to visit and interact with them.
The game literally uses female sex appeal to bolster a man’s masculinity. In fact, Tony’s final upgrade before the final mission comes from a fiery hotty that allows him to max out his balls.
Scarface: The World Is Yours is also rife with politically incorrect content that would never see the light of day in today’s soy-filled media landscape.
For instance, one side-mission has Tony traveling to an island motel full of prostitutes. The motel owner laments a loss of business due to his customers complaining about some of the prostitutes being transvestites.
The motel owner tells Tony to go around the facility and kick all the prostitutes in the vagina. If a prostitute has balls, then they’ll crumple over and will be revealed as a transvestite. So you have to go around, kicking women in their baby-holes until you find the four transvestites posing as prostitutes.
You earn reputation and money for doing so. I laughed out loud during this sequence because I knew straight away no AAA developer could ever get away with that given today’s pussified landscape. Heck, they can’t even get away with showing beautiful women with exposed cleavage in today’s mainstream games.
I liked that the game had balls, even for a game back before political correctness ran rife in the media.
It was hard not to like the game for that, even in the face of its shoddier elements.
I did, though, find myself getting dragged down by the middle-parts between finishing Downtown and unlocking South Beach, where you’re strapped for cash, the missions are highly repetitive, and earning reputation becomes a literal grind.
I think I spent around seven hours just trying to get over that hump, and that’s out of a total 21 hour playthrough of the main story.
In that regards the game has some serious uneven bits, because there’s no real way to make fast cash during the middle bits without going through the arduous task of smuggling, and all the other mini-games to offer up any pittance of cash are either out of the way (such as betting on the cock fights or bum fights on the converted tanker in the islands) or extremely repetitive (such as the henchman side-quests).
The game then speeds up exponentially so once South Beach is fully unlocked, and at that point from North Beach to the end was about a four hour journey… and one of those hours was spent entirely on the final mission.
The final mission’s requirement of elongated attention had little to do with it being organically challenging, and more-so to do with the fact that it had a never-ending supply of respawning enemies up until the final clash with Tony’s arch nemesis, Alejandro Sosa, who was voiced to perfection by veteran actor Robert Davi.
So what made the final mission so hard? Well, because in addition to respawning enemies, you start the mission with NONE of your previously equipped weapons.
By the end of the game I usually carried a silenced Mac-10, a silenced .45, and the M-16 with the underslung grenade launcher. So much to my surprise, when the mission started after a short cinematic, I was left with nothing but four rounds in a Desert Eagle and nothing else.
I was taken aback by the dearth of armament but tried to make do with what they had given me. This made the final mission so much harder than it needed to be. Couple that in with the fact that you have to fight three bosses, you don’t get a checkpoint, and after the first boss the enemies keep respawning until you defeat the second boss.
Basically you have to plot out your course through the final stage with almost pinpoint precision: where you have to shoot at the bosses, when to use lock-on, where to taunt, when to use the “Rage”, when to switch to the Desert Eagle (which you can magically gain back nine rounds if you use it to kill the lawyer during the first boss encounter), and how to navigate the stairwells to avoid being gunned down.
The final stage reminded me of an old NES game, where you have to memorize enemy placements, jump patterns, and attack vectors in order to beat the level with uncompromising accuracy.
Even still, I found myself enjoying the game for what it was. It may have lacked motorcycles and flying vehicles, the controls were cumbersome at times, and the physics were occasionally wonky (at 60fps if you collide a dump truck with a bus the bus will start flipping and flying in the air), but the game contains a lot of heart.
Part of me really wanted to see this title remade with newer tech, especially a better graphics engine and more refined controls. However, I know it’s a futile desire given that they would have to cut out most of the dialogue, remove all of the villainous POCs, axe the sexy women, and completely overhaul Tony’s persona to accommodate the frail-hearted sensibilities of snowflakes and the Regressive Left.
Sadly due to the game’s absolutely atrocious port to PC it lacks a mod community, so it’s not like GTA: San Andreas, where the core game has been retrofitted with newer shaders, textures, and graphics thanks to ENB modifications and dedicated modders. That’s not to mention that you’ll need to download a few external utilities just to get the game to run on a Windows 10 machine, which can take you anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on whether you can find working versions of the files you need.
It’s sad that a game with such an invigorating take on the empire-building structure was hampered so on such a technical level.
I wish that there was also a few more interactions available with the storefronts you owned. There were a lot of opportunities that were ripe for mini-games that just weren’t properly utilized, such as a lack of a dancing feature in the Babylon Club, or not being able to do much other than play video poker or talk to the hostess in the Dolphin Lounge.
Heck, I was somewhat okay with the overall world being rather small but expansive. It only takes a couple of minutes to drive from one end of the map to the other, but there are a lot of long roadways that connect the four districts of Miami. Also there are a couple of islands to explore where the drug plantations are located. In fact, despite the world being small there were a lot of unused small pockets scattered throughout the map that I thought would have been used for more main missions but weren’t, such as the construction site, the unfinished railways, and various beach fronts.
Anyway, Scarface: The World Is Yours has a lot of interesting but unfinished concepts employed. The story is serviceable for what it intends to tell, and Tony Montana is an absolute force to be reckoned with. However, the game doesn’t quite reach the levels of mastering its own domain the way it could have.This is due to less-than-enjoyable shooting mechanics, moderately enjoyable vehicle physics, and an overall lack of polish when it comes to the gameplay loops for progression.
Since it’s now abandonware on PC you can probably find a free copy to try out for yourself, but you’ll need to fish around for a couple of utilities to make it work right on a newer machine. Alternatively, if you still have a PS2 or OG Xbox it might be worth grabbing a copy from eBay or Amazon if you can find one, but only if you’re in desperate need of a game containing unbridled masculinity and a protagonist who is an unapologetic villain who just wants to rule the world.